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New Parents: Perpetual Consumers

newparentsconsumers.jpgYou’ve probably heard from many other parents that you need to do your best to not go crazy with buying stuff for your new baby. It’s easier said than done, though, and for many reasons:

1. You have an innate desire to give your baby everything.

2. Brilliant marketers make us feel as though there are some things our newborns need in order to be brilliant/strong/happy.

3. Having a newborn in the home means a lot of trips to the store for diapers, detergent, and other things, and this means you’re exposed to more items which you will inevitably want to buy.

I found myself buying something for my baby every single time we went to the store. If I went for bananas, we’d walk out with bananas and a toy. If we went for bread, we’d walk out with bread and an activity mat. It’s no wonder that I soon found my house filled with toys and our checking account depleting quickly.

I recognized that I probably couldn’t stop buying extra stuff for my baby cold-turkey, so I weaned myself off the practice by doing a few things:

1. I still occasionally bought her toys that seemed to catch her attention, but I didn’t see something and then present it to her like I used to, “Look at this toy! Isn’t it great? Let’s get it!”

2. When buying toys and fun stuff I stuck to age-appropriate things. I didn’t buy things that were on sales unless she was ready to play with them at her current age. In other words, just because a toy was on a great sale, I didn’t buy it if she wasn’t developmentally ready for it.

3. I tried to go shopping by myself as much as possible, and I went with a list in hand. Not having her there with me helped me to not splurge as often.

Maybe you’re more disciplined than I am and you’ll be able to avoid this situation entirely. If you’re like me, though, you’ll soon find that you really need to pull in the reigns on your spending when your baby comes along. After all, you’ll soon notice that not only is your home getting overrun with toys and other baby items, but you’ll also probably notice that your baby prefers playing with her hands more than any toy you bought for her.

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